For one local doctor, seeing children unprepared for the start of the school year due to limited resources is one of the most frustrating and heartbreaking sights. That is why he is asking the Kernersville community to support the fourth annual Operation: Back Pack.
Dr. Chad McIntyre and his staff at the Triad Upper Cervical Clinic will be accepting back packs and school supplies at their office, located at 432-A West Mountain St., between now and Wednesday, Aug. 20. People can drop off their items between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“This project is near and dear to my heart,” said McIntryre, who noted that all of the items will be delivered to Kernersville Elementary School (KES) in time for their open house on Thursday, Aug. 21. “We want our teachers and students to be focused on instruction rather then worrying about having the supplies they need.”
McIntyre said Operation: Back Pack has steadily grown each of the past three years. They collected 76 back packs the first year, 90 in their second year and 144 last year. McIntyre said the project receives support from people all across the state and region. He explained that many of his patients, who come from as far away as Wilmington, Raleigh and surrounding states, will bring materials with them to their appointments or send care packages to the students at KES.
“Last year, we had someone stop by our office and ask if this was where they could bring school supplies to help the children. When we said yes, she carried in all kinds of back packs filled with supplies,” McIntryre said. “It was overwhelming to see that kind of support from our local community. She didn’t even have children of her own.”
McIntryre said by mid-August, he hopes the floor of his office is covered in back packs and school supplies. McIntryre said these students – and their teachers – work so hard every year to outpace their goals, and he doesn’t want the lack of basic school supplies to stall their progress.
“By doing our part to help, we know every child at Kernersville Elementary is starting off the year on the right foot, and it will help put our teachers at ease too,” McIntyre said. “We want these families to know people care about them and their success.”
Some of the supplies that are needed include crayons, glue sticks, tissues, hand sanitizer and washable markers. Students also need wide-ruled loose leaf paper, composition spiral notebooks, No. 2 pencils, pencil pouches and pocket folders. The only item they cannot accept is back packs that have wheels.
“Our school district does a good job of including only the essentials on their back-to-school supply list, but for families with multiple children, this can still get expensive,” KES Principal Becky Carter said. “Receiving this kind of generosity from Dr. McIntyre, his patients and other community members goes a long way in helping our families. We distributed all 144 back packs last year and will most likely need even more this year.”
“Thank you to everyone for their support. I know the families who receive these supplies are very appreciative,” said Carter, who noted that all of the supplies are given away anonymously throughout the school year as needed.
For more information about Operation: Back Pack, contact Dr. McIntyre at (336) 992-2536.